I paced back and forth, staring at the white walls, remembering the walls of a different time. When we were actually happy. You held my hand and whispered in my ear, stroking my hair, and told me you loved me. I was your little princess, your one and only daughter.
I was crushed when mom told me in a whispered phone call at midnight, a little angry that you hadn't told me yourself in person. I know what cancer is, Daddy. I've heard the stories. How long did you have it before you told me? A month? A year? 10 years? I wouldn't have gone off to college had I known. I would have been at your side day and night. God, I wish I had known.
I don't want you to die right now, my last memory of you being drowned in white sheets, pale and sleeping restlessly. The doctor says you won't make it, but I don't really believe that. You were able to throw me up in the air and catch me until I was 12. You're too strong to die.
I told you that you should have been eating properly and exercising, and going to the doctor more often. Maybe we could have caught the cancer earlier. Maybe you wouldn't have been in the hospital right now. Maybe you would have been visiting meet at my dorm, holding mom's hand in one hand, and mine in the other. Laughing and joking, being my dad again.
Should I have done something differently? Was I too selfish to not call you and ask you how you were? I would have done anything for you Dad, and you know it. I shouldn't have bothered you with all my silly problems with friends and classes, just adding to your stress levels. I was selfish not to ask you for your troubles in return. I am so sorry.
I remember you taking me to the beach that one day, just you and me, laughing and playing in the water, not a care in the world. And then you got that awful pain in your side, and we had to get out I drove you home. Mom flipped out and called the doctor. He inspected you, and mom went in a room with him for an hour. When they finally came out, they told me it was just a spasm. I knew there was something fishy about it, but I completely forgot about it the next day. I should have been more attentive. I'm sorry.
But now, because of all my mistakes and selfishness, here we are in the bleak, dimly lit hospital. The doctor ran into your room a minute ago, and didn't tell me anything. So here I am, pacing back and forth outside your door. Maybe you can see me now, my feet padding up and down the corridor must be casting shadows in your room. I'm sure your awake, and joking with the doctor. If I listen closely, I'm pretty sure I can hear your laughing now. I'm resisting the urge to run in and hug you. Here comes the doctor now, to tell me you're awake.
"Cassie, your father is dead."